Inspection Image

The group works on a variety of non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring methods, particularly focusing on ultrasound and guided ultrasonic waves

Research Themes

Electromagnetic Methods

Electromagnetic methods are widely used in industry but there is considerable scope for improvement. We are involved in several projects in this area in collaboration with Professor Peter Nagy of University of Cincinnati who is a Visiting professor at Imperial.

Current Electromagnetic Methods Projects:

Improvements in EMAT sensitivity
Electromagnetic NDE for pipeline inspection and monitoring
Potential Drop Creep Monitoring

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Guided Ultrasonic Waves

The group is particularly well known for the development of long range guided wave inspection. This is used worldwide, particularly in the petrochemical industry and seven PhD graduates from the group work in the spin-out company Guided Ultrasonics Ltd that was formed to exploit the technology. Guided wave inspection is still a very active research area in the group with particular emphasis on applications to the monitoring of complex  structures and improved defect sizing methods.

Current Guided Ultrasonic Wave Projects:

Improved Guided Wave Inspection of Buried and Coated Structures
Detection of cracks and corrosion using feature-guided waves
Area Monitoring using Ultrasonic Guided Waves
Permanently Installed Guided Wave Monitoring
Comparison of Methods for Detecting Corrosion at Pipe Supports and Other Features

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Other Techniques

Conventional non-destructive testing methods often involve scanning a transducer over the surface of a structure which is time consuming and expensive, and is difficult on complex structures. We are interested in a family of vibro-enhanced methods that potentially overcome these problems, and also in the potential of digital image correlation for inspection and monitoring applications.

Current Projects:

Creep monitoring by potential drop anisotropy
Internal robotic inspection of jet engineOther Techniques Image

Permanently Installed Monitoring Systems

There are many measurements that are not suitable for periodic NDE because the measurement is sensitive to defects, but is equally or more sensitive to other factors that vary in an uncontrolled way across the structure, so leading to missed defects and an unacceptable false call rate; permanent attachment at a fixed position means that, provided the other factors are constant with time, changes in signal give a reliable indication of damage growth. This potentially gives excellent sensitivity to defect initiation and growth, without excessive false call issues, and opens the door to the solution of currently intractable inspection problems. 

Current Permanently Installed Monitoring Systems Projects:

Ultrasonic monitoring of highly textured materials
Reliable damage detection from monitoring data
Permanently installed guided wave monitoring
Potential drop creep monitoring

Ultrasound

Bulk wave ultrasound remains the most commonly used non-destructive testing method. The use of array transducers opens many new possibilities for improving the sensitivity and coverage obtained and in increasing reliability; the group has several projects in this area. The increasing power of computers means that it is now possible to model the propagation of ultrasound and its interaction with defects and so to help with the design and validation of inspections; we have a variety of projects on these topics.

Current Ultrasound Projects:

Modelling of Elastic Wave Scattering from Rough Defects
Improvements in Ultrasonic Inspection Techniques for High Density Polyethylene pipe joints
Ultrasonic Inspection of Highly Scattering Materials
Development of FE techniques for the ultrasonic inspection of surface-breaking defects
Permanently Installed Monitoring Systems
Partial coverage inspection of engineering components

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